ARTE at a glance
The European culture channel
As the European Culture Channel, ARTE provides cultural programming that fosters understanding among Europeans and brings people together.
Born of a Franco-German partnership, ARTE is non-commercial and receives 95% of its funding from TV licence fees in both countries. ARTE is made up of three units: ARTE GEIE, the headquarters in Strasbourg, is responsible for programming and transmission, while the French and German members, ARTE France in Paris and ARTE Deutschland in Baden-Baden, provide most of the programmes.
Creating a television channel for two audiences was a first in television history and is still an exception in the global TV market today. Since its creation, ARTE has been committed to cultural diversity and multilingualism, convinced that better circulation of European broadcast content can make a considerable contribution to European cultural integration. All programmes go out in French and German. A range of programmes are also available with English, Spanish, Polish and soon Italian subtitles.
ARTE GEIE's headquarters are located in Strasbourg on the Franco-German border, in the vicinity of European institutions. The symbolism of the location is threefold: of success for a TV channel that has carved out its own distinctive identity in the European broadcast landscape, of cooperation between France and Germany and of an enthusiastic and resolute openness to all European nations.
ARTE is committed to sustainable development and to managing energy consumption across all operations at its Strasbourg headquarters. As the first French broadcaster to obtain ISO 50001 certification, ARTE has pledged to take whatever action is needed to achieve a 20% gain in energy efficiency over the period 2014-2020, with 2013 as the baseline. This includes analysing and optimising the broadcaster’s most energy-intensive activities. Much is done to raise staff awareness, and energy is now a key criterion for sourcing policies. From 2014 to 2017, energy performance improved by 18% as a result of these efforts, which reflect the climate change objectives set by the European Union (Directive 2012/27/EU).
Governance and Funding
95% public funding
The Group Project for 2012−2015, approved by the General Assembly at the end of 2011, set out a strategic road map for the Channel to develop within a changing media and technology environment. The Group Project will help to strengthen cohesion and coordination between the Channel’s various entities by optimising the resources allocated in the COM concluded with the French State and the resources requested from KEF, the independent committee tasked with assessing the financial requirements of public broadcasting in Germany.
These strategic guidelines are translated each year into specific operational measures, with a quantitative and qualitative review twice a year. ARTE has defined the following goals for the period 2012-2016:
- to be a multi-media benchmark for culture and creativity in Europe,
- to strengthen the Channel’s European identity,
- to consolidate ARTE’s reach and quality,
- to enhance the ARTE brand and Channel content,
- and to strengthen the ARTE Group.
ARTE GEIE implements internal and external audit functions. Within the company, there is a strict principle that persons authorised to issue instructions do not also release payments. The financial rules provide for tender procedures in accordance with EU law and for an independent internal audit function to review structures and procedures of ARTE GEIE.
Management oversight is the responsibility of the two internal auditors elected at the General Assembly (Dr Markus Nievelstein, CEO of ARTE Deutschland, and Olivier Guillemot, Managing Director of ARTE France). The annual financial statements are audited externally by an auditing company elected at the General Assembly.
An external audit of the Management Board is being performed by an external auditing company. It has been appointed to assess the way in which the resolutions voted at the General Assembly are implemented, and if the Management Board complies with all applicable legal provisions, directives and internal rules throughout its term of office. It will also seek to establish whether management has acted in an effective and economical manner, as well as whether the existing risk management and detection systems are effective.
Ethics alert mechanism
Law no. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 relating to transparency, the prevention of corruption and modernization of the economy, known as “Sapin 2”, created a general system for the protection of whistleblowers.
With effect from 1 January 2018, this law requires any public or private organisation with at least 50 employees to put a clear, accessible and secure alert mechanism in place.
ARTE guarantees that every member of staff or occasional external collaborator faced with a situation that is contrary to the procedures, laws or regulations applicable to ARTE GEIE has the right, in complete confidence, to alert his or her management, or a dedicated contact such as the compliance officer, without fear of reprisal.
The reporting procedure is accessible to all. The compliance officer can be contacted directly at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the reporting procedure.
TV licence fees in France and Germany
95% of ARTE’s funding comes from licence fee in France and Germany. The channel is not allowed to run advertising, but it can generate some income of its own from other sources, notably sponsorship.
In France, public service broadcasting is funded by a TV licence fee. An annual payment of €138 is collected from all households with a television set. Other devices that can be used to watch TV, like computers and tablets, are not currently affected.
The money is used to finance TV and radio broadcasters in France with a public duty to educate, inform and entertain a broad audience by providing a diverse range of high-quality programmes: France Télévisions, ARTE France, Radio France, Réseau Outre-Mer 1ère, France Media Monde and INA (the National Audiovisual Institute). They are a benchmark for news, audiovisual creation and cultural diversity.
ARTE's corporate identity reflects the Channel's identity as Europe’s cultural magnet. It has been initiated by ARTE's Creative Director Cécile Chavepayre and designed by the British agency The Partners together with Lambie-Nairn.